Julio Alberto Borbon
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 1", Weight 180 lb.
- School University of Tennessee
- High School Colegio Dominicano De La Salle
- Debut June 29, 2009
Borbon was born in Mississippi while his father (also named Julio) was teaching at Mississippi State University, but Julio Jr. grew up in the Dominican Republic. He came to the US for college and hit .350/.386/.450 for the University of Tennessee as a freshman. He did not win Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year honors as those went to J.P. Arencibia. Tennessee made it to the 2005 College World Series.
In the fall, Julio hit .205/.307/.273 for the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod League. As a sophomore, Borbon batted .366/.412/.481 and stole 19 bases in 25 attempts. The center fielder led Tennessee in average, runs (45), hits (86), triples (5) and stolen bases.
Borbon joined Team USA for the latter half of 2006. He hit .345, second on the club to Pedro Alvarez, over the course of the summer, and led the team in runs (35) and triples (4). His 14 steals tied Jemile Weeks for the most. Borbon helped the US win Gold at the 2006 World University Championship; he led the event in average and made the All-Tournament team but Arencibia beat him out for MVP honors.
A broken ankle sidelined Borbon for part of 2007. He hit .345/.370/.506 and led the Volunteers in average once again. He was second team All-SEC and finished his Tennessee career third in school history in triples (13). Scouted by Jeff Wood, the Texas Rangers picked him 35th overall in the 2007 amateur draft and he signed with the club.
Borbon hit .189/.250/.216 in 9 games in the minors in 2007, seeing limited time due to his late signing. In 2008, he hit .306/.346/.395 for the Bakersfield Blaze and .337/.380/.459 for the Frisco RoughRiders. He had 175 hits, scored 87 runs and stole 53 bases in 71 tries in a great first full year in Organized Baseball.
Borbon started 2009 strong with the Oklahoma RedHawks, hitting .298/.365/.387, scoring 53 runs and stealing 19 bases in 23 tries after 71 games. He was called up to Texas as Willie Eyre was optioned off the roster to make room.
In his major league debut on June 29, 2009 against the Los Angeles Angels, Borbon hit 6th and played DH. He struck out against fellow rookie Sean O'Sullivan with the bases loaded and two outs in the first, fanned versus O'Sullivan in the third and popped out in the sixth. Hank Blalock pinch-hit for him in the 8th. He collected his first major league hit and RBI in his next game, on July 1. He ended his first season with a solid .312 average and 19 stolen bases in 46 games; he was hitting .485 after his first 10 games, but then fell back to earth. In 2010, he got into 137 games as the Rangers' starting centerfielder, and hit .276. However, he had fewer homers and stolen bases than in limited playing time the previous season, and indeed hit only 18 extra-base hits in 438 at-bats. The Rangers won the AL West title, but in the postseason, he was largely a back-up, getting only 1 hit in 9 at-bats as the Rangers made it to the World Series for the first time in franchise history.
Borbon began the 2011 season in the Rangers' line-up, and starting in center field, but after hitting .270/.305/.348 over his first 32 games, he strained a hamstring and was placed on the disabled list. He began a rehabilitation assignment in AA at the end of the month, but after only one game, the Rangers decided to option him to AAA, being satisfied with the play of Endy Chavez in his absence. He then sprained his ankle while playing for the Round Rock Express, where he was hitting .298 in 32 games. He underwent surgery on July 18th, keeping him away from the field for another six weeks. In the end, he did not play again for the Rangers that season. He was 2 for 14 with 3 walks for the Leones del Escogido in the 2012 Caribbean Series and spent all of 2012 with Round Rock, where he hit .304 in 126 games, with 23 doubles, 8 triples and 10 homers; he stole 20 bases in 26 tries.
He started 2013 with the Rangers but played only one game before being placed on waivers. He was picked up by the Chicago Cubs, where he hit .202/.284/.279 in 72 games, but only 104 at-bats. The Cubs sent him down to the AAA Iowa Cubs in early August, where he finished the year hitting .260 in 24 games.